Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Rural Healthcare Decline...

It has been said time and time again, “The United States is in a healthcare crisis.” The crisis itself isn’t the problem, because problems can be fixed with teamwork and cooperation among agencies, and across arbitrary political boundaries. The issue at hand however is WHEN are we going to do something about it?

The Argus Leader included a map of South Dakota counties, coloring the counties without a live-in physician red. There are eighteen such counties in South Dakota…which is unacceptable. As a state, we should take the appropriate measures now, to better prepare us for the future, which is coming whether we want it to or not.
Dr. Bob Burns, professor of Political Science at South Dakota State University and Dean of the Honors College, agrees the push towards specialization, especially in the United States, has hurt rural healthcare. Facts support Dr. Burns’ conclusions. How can rural South Dakota counties support neurosurgeons, cardiologists or other specialists for that matter? The truth is they can’t, but because of the exorbitant costs associated with medical school, new doctors must go where their practice will be lucrative…and that’s probably not rural South Dakota…or any rural locality with our system set up the way it is.

The answer?
Attacking the issue on several fronts, beginning with a new model of reimbursement, a better strategy to reduce administrative costs in health care and a strategic initiative to create incentives for people to take better care of themselves and for our health care providers to practice a ‘new style’ of health care that provides for the promotion of health and wellness.

To read the rest of the article online, click the following link:

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